What is the Australian Manufacturing Fund for PPE Program?
The Australian Manufacturing Fund for PPE program is a grant opportunity to help eligible small and medium sized businesses, with up to 199 employees, to invest in efficient and transformative manufacturing processes and re-train staff and/or create new jobs to produce personal protective equipment (PPE).
The Australian Manufacturing Fund for PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) will run over two years from 2019-20 to 2020-21. The program will stimulate business investment in new technologies and processes in the manufacturing sector with a focus on supporting Australian manufacturers to produce Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in response to COVID-19.
The Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources is responsible for administering this grant opportunity. The Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre (AMGC) will assist the department in identifying suitable eligible businesses.
AMGC has collated expressions of interest from businesses with regard to supporting Australian efforts to treat, contain and mitigate the impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak and this process will be used for the department to identify and select businesses that should be invited to apply for funding under this program.
The objectives of the program are to:
- support investment in efficient and transformative manufacturing processes by Australian small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to produce PPE for the local market
- support SMEs to re-train staff, and maintain and/or create new jobs
The intended outcomes of the program are:
- sustainable business models for the development or on-shoring of the sustainable manufacture of PPE
- adaptation/repair capability in Australia in critical product lines or knowledge areas that are vital to strengthening our national resilience.
To provide rapid response to the COVID-19 crisis, the program will target manufacturing businesses known to the Department to have the capability, supply chain and market access suitable for achieving the objectives of the program.
The grant amount will be up to 100 per cent of eligible project expenditure.
There is no maximum grant amount for this grant opportunity; however we expect that grants will not be more than $500,000.
To be eligible your project must involve capital investment and associated skill-based training to transition your manufacturing process to manufacture personal protective equipment.
Eligible activities may include:
- buying, constructing, installing or commissioning of manufacturing plant, equipment or software directly related to the manufacturing of PPE relevant training and skills development to assist you to integrate the new technology into your business, including upskilling and accreditation in advanced processes.
- process design and engineering directly related to your capital investment
- fit-out, alterations and/or extensions to buildings directly related to your capital investment for manufacturing of PPE.
To be eligible you must:
- be invited to apply
- be an entity incorporated in Australia and a trading corporation, where your trading activities
- form a sufficiently significant proportion of the corporation’s overall activities as to merit it being described as a trading corporation; or
- are a substantial and not merely peripheral activity of the corporation.
The program can only accept applications:
- from manufacturing small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with up to 199 employees (headcount)
- where you can provide evidence from your board (or chief executive officer or equivalent if there is no board) that the project is supported, and that you can complete the project and meet the costs of the project not covered by grant funding.
Applications open on an ongoing basis.
Four companies have earned grants under the Australian Manufacturing Fund for PPE program.
The grants would help companies move into capability gaps exposed by the Covid-19 pandemic, industry minister Karen Andrews said in a statement on Monday, and lead to export opportunities.
Kestrel Manufacturing received $495,000. It is a supplier to surgical mask business Med-Con, and would dedicate one of its meltblown lines to the filter materials which would assist Med-Con in its scaling up from two million to 160 million masks annually.
Clets Linen was awarded $213,000 to upgrade capacity for disposable isolation gown production.
Nobody Denim received $400,000 for as many as 20 new sewing machines for isolation gowns.
RRJ Engineering was awarded $392,000 to help make more plastic PPE components. CEO Royston Kent said the grant, “gives industry the confidence to invest in its people, facilities and to update technology.”